Big Ten Tournament predictions

The Big Ten men’s basketball tournament begins in less than 15 hours.  This has been a very unpredictable season, but that’s what makes predicting the tournament so much fun.  Here are my predictions, with less commentary than is necessary.  I’ve tried to be neutral, and I’m probably completely wrong.  But if I’m right, I could win $250 from the local newspaper!

First round

Minnesota vs Northwestern — The last time these two teams faced off, Northwestern got spanked.  So despite the fact that the Wildcats won the first meeting, they’ll be angry when they face the Gophers.  Not to mention the fact that Northwestern has a chance to make it to the NCAA tournament for the first time in school history.  Winner: Northwestern

Michigan vs Iowa — Despite a surprise defeat of Penn State last weekend, Iowa is still legitimately the 10th best team in the conference.  Michigan has beaten #2 and #3, and they’re in a much happier place.  Winner: Michigan

Penn State vs Indiana — Indiana has shown considerable improvement and I thought they’d win their first round game.  Then the brackets came out.  If Indiana wins, I’ll post a picture of myself wearing an IU sweatshirt.  Right side out, even.  Winner: Penn State


Michigan State vs Northwestern — Of all the lower seeds, Northwestern has the best chance of making a deep run.  Wins at Michigan State and at Purdue should give the Spartans a cause for concern too.  But can they handle playing two days in a row?  Michigan State will be rested, and one would expect ready to play. Hopefully a quarterfinal appearance will be enough to get Northwestern into the NCAA tourney.  Winner: Michigan State

Wisconsin vs Ohio State — It took a little while, but Wisconsin finally figured out what winning is.  The only time these teams met, it was a 5-point victory for the Badgers in Madison.  tOSU travels well, so Indianapolis may be like a home game for them.  This will be a close call, but I think Wisconsin will have a slight edge.  Winner: Wisconsin

Illinois vs Michigan — Illinois and Michigan split the series, each team winning at home.  Michigan may have beaten Duke and Purdue, but they’ll not be able to get a second win over Illinois this year.  Winner: Illinois

Purdue vs Penn State — Purdue has been very erratic this year, even with a healthy Robbie Hummel.  They’ll either win the tournament or lose their first game.  Penn State has been hot lately, but Indiana will wear them down more than they expect.  If the Boilers can shut down Taylor Battle again, it will be a relatively easy win.  Winner: Purdue


Michigan State vs Wisconsin — This is where Michigan State gets cocky.  Wisconsin will be tired, but determined.  It’s no fun to have the #1 seed win out, anyway. Winner: Wisconsin

Illinois vs Purdue — It’s hard to beat a team three times in one year.  The way Purdue sees it, they owe Illinois a drubbing.  On a home-ish court, and with all players healthy, the Boilermakers will get their revenge.  Winner: Purdue


Wisconsin vs Purdue — Remember what I said about it being hard to beat a team three times in a year?  That’s not always true.  This will be Wisconsin’s fourth game in as many days, and they’re simply not as good as Purdue.  If Purdue makes it this far (and that’s a big “if”), they’ll be able to put this one away by halftime.  Winner: Purdue

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